These cute meringue ghosts are a fun and tasty treat for your next Halloween party! A naturally gluten-free cookie with a light, airy, and crisp exterior and a slightly chewy interior. The sweet little ghosts require just 7 ingredients.
Ridiculously cute cookie alert. Get excited. My kids did.
Unfortunately, for my kids, they know the drill…no eating the cute little boo-meringues until mom says she’s done taking pictures of them. It’s hard being a food blogger’s kid, but then again my kids say that it’s also the best because if mom screws something up they know multiple batches of tasty sweet treats will eventually be available for the taking.
🌟 Why you’ll love this recipe
It’s pretty easy to love a fun and festive cookie, but if you add a cute little chocolate face on it, I’m smitten and all smiles. It becomes more of an internal debate of whether or not this cookie is now too cute to eat or if should I just take a bite and get over it. Get over it always wins. Here’s why:
- These sweet meringue cookies are light, airy, and taste like marshmallow fluff.
- They melt in your mouth and are really just completely delightful.
- Naturally gluten-free.
- Just 7 ingredients.
- Can be made ahead of time.
- Fun to decorate (and fun to eat).
🛒 Ingredients & suggestions
- Egg whites: Egg whites are the base of meringue cookies. It’s important to use egg whites that are room temperature because they will will whip into a higher volume compared to egg whites that are cold. If your egg whites are cold allow them to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Baker’s sugar: Not to be confused with granulated sugar, baker’s sugar (also known as caster sugar) is a superfine sugar with sugar crystals that are more fine than granulated sugar. You can substitute granulated sugar for the baker’s sugar but be sure to slowly and gradually add the granulated sugar to the eggs whites when whipping the meringue mixture so that the sugar is able to fully dissolve, otherwise the meringues will have a slightly gritty texture.
- Cream of tartar: Don’t skip this ingredient! Cream of tartar acts as a stabilizer making the meringue sturdier and less likely to collapse which is important for creating some shape for our meringue ghosts. Cream of tartar can be found in the spice section of most grocery stores. If you can’t find this ingredient the next best option is to substitute ¼ teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar per egg white.
- Kosher salt: Enhances the flavor of the meringues and also acts as a stabilizer.
- Vanilla extract: Adding just a bit of vanilla to the meringues makes the meringue ghosts extra tasty, but feel free to experiment with other extract flavors such as almond, orange, lemon, peppermint, coffee, or chocolate!
- Chocolate chips (optional): Use your favorite chocolate. I love dipping these meringues in bittersweet chocolate, but semi-sweet or milk chocolate would work also.
- Sprinkles!: Optional, but so fun. Don’t skip the fun.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities see the recipe card at the end of this post.
🔪 Step-by-step instructions
Step 1: Add egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer and turn on medium-high speed until very thick and foamy.
Step 2: Gradually add the sugar, a little bit at a time, and turn the mixer onto high speed. Whip the mixture until glossy, stiff peaks form. You’ll know the meringue has been adequately whipped when the meringue mixture is able to stand straight up and hold its form on the whisk attachment without drooping or collapsing. Then stir in the vanilla.
Step 3: Add the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip (I recommend Wilton #12 Round) and pipe desired shapes onto a parchment-lined baking pan. Then bake low and slow in an oven set to 225°F (110°C) for 1 hour. After the meringues have finished baking, leave them in the oven until they are completely cooled. This will help prevent cracks in the meringues.
Step 4: Now let’s decorate the meringues! First, melt some chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave in short 20 second intervals (stirring between each interval until fully melted and being careful not to overheat). Dip the bottom of each meringue in the melted chocolate.
Step 5: Next, dip the chocolate coated meringue bottoms in the sprinkles.
Step 6: Finally, add some melted chocolate to a piping bag fitted with a small round piping tip (I recommend Wilton #2 Round) and pipe little ghost eyes and a mouth. Allow the chocolate to set and become firm before serving (or don’t!) and enjoy!
👩🍳 Recipe tips!
- Make sure the bowl and beater that you are using to whip the meringue is completely clean and moisture free. Any grease or moisture will prevent the meringue from whipping into stiff peaks.
- Use an egg separator for separating egg whites from the yolk. Even the smallest drop of egg yolk can prevent egg whites from stabilizing and whipping into stiff peaks. If you struggle with separating egg whites from the yolk an egg separator is a handy, inexpensive tool that definitely saves a lot of trouble and mess.
- Separate the egg white one at a time and place the egg white in the mixing bowl before separating the next egg. This way, if an egg yolk accidentally breaks the whole batch won’t be ruined.
- Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time to the meringue mixture so that it has a chance to dissolve before more sugar is added.
- Beat the meringue mixture until stiff peaks are formed. This will take several minutes so don’t rush the process. Climate and elevation can also affect how long it will take for stiff peaks to form. You’ll know the meringue is ready when it increases in volume and looks very thick and glossy. Also, when you remove the whisk attachment from the stand mixer, you should be able to hold the whisk upward and the meringue will stay standing straight up without flopping over (see the picture in Step 2 above).
💭 Frequently asked questions
Cream of tartar is a crucial ingredient for meringues, that is if you want a meringue that will hold its form and not collapse. The acidity in cream of tartar helps the eggs whites hold onto air which helps the egg whites to whip up better, hold stiffer peaks, and prevents the meringues from collapsing.
Granulated sugar can be used for meringues but there is a risk that the meringues will have a grittier texture. Granulated sugar takes longer to dissolve in comparison to baker’s sugar (also known as caster sugar). If using granulated sugar, beat the meringue mixture at a slightly slower speed giving the sugar more time to dissolve. Test to see if the sugar has dissolved by rubbing a little bit of the meringue mixture between two fingers. If it feels gritty, the sugar needs more time to dissolve.
Meringues are both chewy and crisp. Because they are baked at such a low temperature, the exterior of the meringue becomes light and crisp while the interior is slightly chewy.
No eggy flavor in these sweet little treats! Meringues taste like delicate, crisp, sweet clouds of joy with soft, marshmallowy centers that just melt in your mouth.
I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost. Especially when they’re this cute and tasty! ♡
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